Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

HTO Nebula 3.00m/10’ 12-42g lure rod review (my perfect surf lure fishing rod) - £134.99

Rather than me spend more time linking to my reviews of the various items of fishing tackle mentioned in this blog post, you can find them all here, linked to within the various tackle categories.

You are going to have to bear a few things in mind here - firstly that I am not exactly the most experienced surf lure angler in the world, and secondly that the more I do and fall in love with surf fishing for bass, the more I am of the opinion that if you can’t get a long-casting sub-40g metal out there and fish effectively then it’s time to move and look for different conditions. By no means am I saying that metals are the only lures to use in the surf, rather that when surf fishing with metals I reckon 40g is for the most part more than enough - with not all metals being remotely equal. If you want to chuck great big paddletails and so on then this brand new HTO Nebula 10’ 12-42g lure rod is not going to be for you with it’s 42g upper casting rating, but have a look at the frigging weapon that is the HTO 10’ 15-56g version, holy cow that thing can take it!


There’s a few things I have found out about what I want from a lure rod which I am going to use in the surf, and when I say surf I am talking about what can be some fairly hectic onshore sea conditions and usually a decent bit of wind. I want a lure rod that is easy to wind up and help put my lures out a good distance if needs be, and you need to remember that all that tumbling water doesn’t always mean you’ve got the best stance when you’re casting - so that rod needs to be plenty powerful enough, but also a little forgiving if my timing is a touch off. If there is one thing I can’t stand when lure fishing in the wind is a rod tip that’s flapping around in the breeze like an out of control umbrella - when I start my retrieve I want the tip on my rod to stay roughly in place, and the tip on this new Nebula is absolutely ideal in my opinion.


So without further ado I would like to present this new HTO Nebula 10’ 12-42g lure rod, and as much as you know I am a complete tackle tart who has a serious weakness for some of the higher end lure rods, this sub-£150 weapon has turned out to be my ideal lure rod for surf fishing. The above paragraph is this rod exactly, and the more I have fished with this blank and also tried out a few different and more expensive lure rods in the surf, the more I keep coming back to this particular blank which HTO have used for this new Nebula 10’ 12-42g. And yes, I used the word blank there deliberately.


It’s nice and light and it feels just right when I strap on a spinning reel that I am happy to take out into the surf and not have to worry about saltwater damage. For me the first reel I am going to grab is the mighty Penn Slammer III in the 3500 size, but the 4500 plays very nicely with this HTO Nebula 10’ 12-42g lure rod as well, as indeed do the slightly cheaper and lighter Penn Spinfisher VI 3500 and 4500 reels. Of course a lure rod this light and responsive is going to feel nice with a lovely shiny Shimano or Daiwa spinning reel on it, but considering that I trust neither brand of reel to cope with the sort of surf lure fishing I am increasingly becoming addicted to, I need this longer Nebula to work with my Penns - which it does, and very nicely as well.

HTO Nebula 10' 12-42g lure rod 01.gif

There’s a feeling of precision that all the Nebula rods I have fished with give me, and this 10’ 12-42g version is no different, indeed it’s the overall pokiness and precision which I think works so well for banging stuff out in the surf. The 9’ 7-35g Nebula is still the out and out best “budget” lure rod I have ever come across, and I also really like the more powerful 9’ 12-42g version of it, but if anything the extra 12’’ on this 10’ 12-42g version has helped make it an easier to use lure rod. The longer length has helped “ease” the rod up slightly, and whilst it’s still very fast and so on, it’s just so easy to wind this 10’ 12-42g version up and put my surf lures out there a frigging mile if needs be. I talked about timing often being slightly off in the surf further up the page, and this HTO Nebula 10’ 12-42g lure rod very importantly doesn’t bite you when this happens. I also can’t help but like how slim and light and precise this thing is for a 10’ long lure rod.


Now this HTO Nebula 10’ 12-42g lure rod obviously works very well wherever you might feel the need for a bass lure rod that’s 10’ long and rated to cast 12-42g, but I have to be honest and tell you that from the moment I put this blank into use in the surf I was hooked so to speak on how brilliantly it worked for me when fishing like that. You know as well as I do that you could spend a heap more money on a lure rod with similar specs, but for me and what I want from a surf rod which doesn’t need to bang more than 42g out there, well this HTO Nebula 10’ 12-42g lure rod is it as far as I’m concerned. It was me who suggested to the grownups at HTO HQ that they should seriously look into putting a 10’ 12-42g version of the Nebula onto the market, so I doff my cap to them for actioning my suggestions - thank you to them for listening! Holy cow I can’t wait for autumn and as much surf fishing as time and conditions might allow, and this HTO Nebula 10’ 12-42g lure rod with a Penn Slammer III 3500 strapped to it will be out there with me. Get at it!


I shot the photos you see here when we had an epic surf session yesterday where we absolutely hammered the fish on Savage Gear Seekers especially. I have been using the exact blank on which this new HTO Nebula 10’ 12-42g lure rod for a fair while now for my surf fishing, but I really wanted to see what other anglers might think about the rod and whether it was a “perfect surf rod”. I gave the rod to a couple of mates yesterday and they properly thrashed it, and I note with interest how that they are now both buying this exact rod to use when they go surf fishing………………

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